N.I. Teijin Shoji Co. Ltd., a fiber importer, agreed to a $1.5 million settlement for False Claims Act allegations. The company imported the fiber, Zylon, which was manufactured by Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan. It is alleged that Teijin Shoji was aware that the Zylon degraded quickly over time causing it to be unfit for use in the production of bullet proof vests. Also, Teijin Companies did not inform the US of the potential degradation problems or stop selling the fiber for the vests altogether. Instead, they actively marketed the product and minimized the degradation factor. In addition, Teijin previously purchased Zylon from a Canadian weaver and sold it to American body armor manufacturers. The Canadian weaver refused to sell the fiber for armor purposes for fear of being potentially liable. Teijin is not the only importer who has faced these allegations. The US has previously settled eight other companies for similar allegations in the Zylon body armor industry. To date, the government has received more than $59 million from the other lawsuits. Currently, Toyobo Co. is under investigation by the US government, and part of Teijin Companies settlement agreement requires them to actively cooperate with them.
For more information please see: http://washingtondc.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel11/wfo012511.htm